ARTIST STATEMENT: Art is an ever-changing process based upon the necessity of the artist. For me, using photo-editing programs to create art was one of my first mediums besides pencil and paper. MS Paint was used frequently to design shoddy Mary Sue characters for my shoddy copy-and-paste stories. Later, Adobe Photoshop established itself on my dad’s computer, and my ability to express myself expanded. Photo-editing programs are a classic to me now, like pencils and pens. Using them allows for the easiest way to express myself.
Before Death IV and V are from a series based off shoddy cellphone pictures that I took in the months before my grandma passed away. She was a major influence on my life, and her passing held onto me for years. She did not get to see me, the first of her grandchildren, graduate high school, and she will not see me graduate college. The series was created by putting each picture into Adobe Illustrator years later and distorted to become a surreal, strange world that could still be recognized to viewers. They were created in a time when I finally gained closure over my grandmother’s passing, and were meant to signify that step past my previous life.
Spoken Words and Audience were made in a completely different part of my life—in a time of certainty. Both were taken during a reading and open mic; settings which have set a ground for which I want my life to lead. These are not as personal as the Before Death series, yet they play off of my anxieties on reading in front of an audience, which I have yet to do. I prefer to be in the background; to be part of the system that allows others to show their work. To take photos, too. Spoken Words takes out the reader and leaves you with outlines of who they are, while Audience emphasizes the audience as the gesso, once again, takes away the reader.
Marissa Isabel Gonzalez is a native Houstonian finishing up her studies in creative writing and studio art at the University of Houston. She is a writer and an artist, and has been an editor for Glass Mountain Literary Journal since Spring 2014. Currently, Marissa is working on the first drafts of a novel, and a collection of fiber art.